Tuesday, December 15, 2020

We Need a Little Christmas Right This Very Minute!


By Vicki Bechard, Secretary

Christmas music has been playing in my car for the last month or so.  I have several stations selected so I skip around a lot to only listen to songs I want to hear.  Several songs have extra meaning for me this season, but this song by Johnny Mathis may hit the spot for all of us, especially now, no matter your situation:                                                                                               

                “We Need a Little Christmas” 

…For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
Candles in the window
Carols at the spinet
Yes, we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
Hasn't snowed a single flurry, but Santa dear we're in a hurry

Regardless of your religious beliefs or practices, Christmas can be celebrated by anyone.  It’s the time of year when we think of others; dress up our homes and even ourselves (think ugly Christmas sweaters J).  It’s a time to bring family and friends together – even though this year it might be via ZOOM – to reminisce and share the love.  This Christmas season comes at a time when teaching and learning are occurring in ways that may seem so detached from what we do best, and yet we find ways to make it work under extraordinary circumstances.  We are held hostage by a virus that will hopefully be under control by this time next year or before.  We are living in divisive times that grab our attention away from the beauty of the season.  So we do indeed need a little Christmas…now.

…For I've grown a little leaner
Grown a little colder
Grown a little sadder
Grown a little older
And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder
Need a little Christmas now

This verse expresses just how we feel.  Our heroes are tired.  Classroom teachers that are doing their very best to stay healthy, teach their students in whatever format they are presented at any given moment, and adjust to the many regulations that come down the pike.  Administrators are tired too.  No longer just addressing the usual never-ending list of day to day management, instructional leadership, discipline, professional learning leaders, and building climate, they have now become expert contact tracers doing their part to keep those in their charge safe from a sneaky, ever intruding virus.  No decision is popular with everyone.  How do you get ahead of something that is so new to everyone and reacts differently in each person or community? 

If you step back a moment, you realize that our educators are facing personal challenges too.  They may have loved ones who are sick or have succumbed to this dreaded virus or by some other cause. They may be sick themselves. They may be juggling working from home, their own children, spotty internet in rural locations, or checking in on elderly parents and grandparents too.  Some may be bettering themselves with Master’s Degree programs – at a time they are stretched so thin – but they are still learning.  You may be like my grandson who said to me just this morning on our way to school, “Grandma, it doesn’t really feel like Christmas this year.”  He’s dealing with the loss of his mother this past summer.  I can relate.  When we meet or work with others, we don’t always know what they are going through.  One of the things I appreciate about the last 9 months is how the kindness movement has re-emerged.  As the saying goes, “In a world where you can be anything …. Be kind” because we do indeed need a little Christmas right this very minute.

For we need a little music
Need a little laughter
Need a little singing, ringing through the rafter
And we need a little snappy
Happy ever after
Need a little Christmas now

So as your semester comes to an end, and Winter Break begins, take some time to rest, relax, and renew.  Enjoy smaller celebrations this year, whether it’s the lights of Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or even as we ring in the New Year. Stay safe.  Practice gratitude for the blessings we each have.  We at Learning Forward Kansas appreciate each one of you and the work you do every day.  Never forget that you are a blessing to so many. 

So, find a little music, seek and share laughter, and perhaps just exactly what we need ….get “a little snappy, and be happy ever after!”  Tis the season of hope, especially as the most challenging year of our lives (at least for most of us) comes to an end and a New Year begins. 

We Need a Little Christmas - NOW!